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Old 03-31-2003
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prussell is on a distinguished road
What''''s the best way to receive mail?

We are leaving in a month to cruise for a year or two. Our first leg will take us along the east coast and then possibly somewhere south (ie caribbean, mexico?). We would love some advice on how cruisers receive their mail.
Thanks,
Kim
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Old 04-01-2003
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fourknots is on a distinguished road
What''''s the best way to receive mail?

We used pocketmail. I think their site is pocketmail.com. Anywhere in the US the # to call is free. Everywhere else it''s long distance. All you need is any phone.
Ours is for sale if you''re interested. $60 includes a waterproof case for taking ashore.
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Old 04-01-2003
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prussell is on a distinguished road
What''''s the best way to receive mail?

Fourknots,
Thanks for your reply but I''m looking for the best way to receive our post office mail (not email). I''ve never cruised for an extended period of time before and would love some advice on this. We will have a laptop with us for email.
Thanks,
Kim
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Old 04-02-2003
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NaughtyCat is on a distinguished road
What''''s the best way to receive mail?

Check this out: www.boatmail.net
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Old 04-02-2003
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fourknots is on a distinguished road
What''''s the best way to receive mail?

Sorry, thought I saw an "e".

The first time we cruised, all of our mail was forwarded to my mother who sent it to us every month or two. Our second cruise, we had friends do the same. If you use a service, they will charge you monthly - I think - and then you pay for shipping your mail.

After three years of cruising, my advice is that whoever sends your mail, have them use UPS or DHL and spend the money for second day or even overnight. I can''t tell you how many times on our first cruise we waited for mail - once it never did come. You don''t want to be waiting for mail when the weather window opens or your visa runs out. I once spent $100 to have 2 months worth of mail overnighted to Panama. It saved me more than that in fees and hassles.

You can usually find a marina or yacht club to have your mail sent to. Otherwise, you take your chances with " General Delivery, Yacht in Transit"
at the Post Offfice.

If you get a friend to dso it, make sure they are ultra reliable - not everyone understands the importance of mail and is extra vigilant about customs forms, etc...
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Old 04-02-2003
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What''''s the best way to receive mail?

Kim, there are lots of options and you might read back thru the threads at the SSCA site as this issue is discussed there, as well.

Just a couple of thoughts:
1. However much of a logistics challenge it is to pick up mail while cruising the U.S., it gets immensely more difficult and expensive once you leave. Commercial firms who have done this for many years are therefore far more helpful a choice than Aunt Sue once you shove off for Mexico or wherever.
2. A cavaet for #1 above is that firms remain in business for long periods but actual ownership of these businesses change regularly; interview one of the owners (I''ve done this twice; well worth the time...) as tho'' they will be managing another valuable asset of yours in your absence, just like you would a rental property agent or investment specialist.
3. Reduce to the absolute minimum your dependence on mail. This may seem obvious and you probably already have some ideas about how to do this...but be relentless in pursuing other suggestions, ideas, alternatives. Some mail services offer a variety of related services in this direction, such as bill paying, parts ordering, etc. (at of course add''l cost).
4. FWIW a yachtie held a personal survey on the morning VHF Net in Chaguraumas, Trinidad every morning for several weeks, inviting not just subjective comments but also a tally of who was using which vendors. I thought this was an interesting data point. The service which scored by far the highest # and also garnered what seemed to me by far the highest praise was St. Brendan''s Isle. (Our service, Voyagers, was an also-ran in both categories). We subsquently met Doug & Linda (SBI owners), interviewed them at the last SSCA Gam, and now use their service. This doesn''t mean theirs is the ''best'' but perhaps its one helpful rec. They have no annual fee and charge $12/month for their basic service. And they weed out the junk if you wish, which saves LOTS of postage once you begin forwarding.

Jack
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